Leading video game publisher Riot Games agreed to pay $100 million as a settlement to a 2018 class-action gender discrimination lawsuit with California state agencies and over 2,000 current and former female employees.
Under the agreement, Riot Games, best known for “League of Legends,” will pay $80 million to compensate workers and $20 million to cover legal costs.
The settlement will “remedy violations against approximately 1,065 women employees and 1,300 women contract workers” after the video game company allegedly engaged in “systemic sex discrimination and harassment,” the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in California said in a statement on Dec. 27.
“If entered by the court, this decree will compensate employees and contractors affected by sex discrimination and harassment, ensure lasting change in this workplace, and send the message that all industries in California, including the gaming industry, must provide equal pay and workplaces free from discrimination and harassment,” DFEH Director Kevin Kish said.
The settlement is pending final approval, which is expected at a hearing at a Los Angeles court in the coming months.
Riot Games also agreed to workplace reforms, including creating an annual $6 million dollar cash reserve for three years to adjust pay and to fund diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
Riot Games also agreed to hire an independent third-party expert approved by DFEH to conduct gender-equity analysis for three years.
In a statement, Riot Games said that it believed the settlement was “the right thing to do.”
“While we’re proud of how far we’ve come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past. We hope that this settlement properly acknowledges those who had negative experiences at Riot and demonstrates our desire to lead by example in bringing more accountability and equality to the games industry,” the company said.
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